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Citi launches new Pay with Points feature

Cardholders can receive real-time updates for eligible purchases and redeem rewards to cover the cost


Citi cardholders can now use their ThankYou points to cover the cost of everyday purchases – though it won’t get the most value out of your rewards.

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On June 25, 2019, Citi announced a new feature for ThankYou cardholders – Pay with Points. Now, when an eligible cardholder makes a purchase on everyday items like dining, groceries or entertainment, they can redeem ThankYou points to cover the cost.

If you have a qualifying ThankYou card, you can set up push notifications for when you make a qualifying purchase, reminding you to use your points. Cardholders can choose from real-time, daily or weekly reminders and can also set a minimum spend threshold to avoid excess notifications from small purchases. Then, you can redeem your points to cover the cost of your purchase – even if the transaction is still pending.

Citi Premier℠ Card
Citi Premier

Why should you get this card?

The Citi Premier card offers a generous travel rewards program, encompassing gas, subway fares and more.

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More things to know:

  • 3 points per dollar on travel, including gas, 2 points per dollar on restaurants and entertainment and 1 point per dollar on other purchases
  • 60,000 ThankYou® points if you spend $4,000 in first 3 months
  • 25% higher redemption value on travel when redeemed through the ThankYou Travel Center
  • VIP entertainment and concert ticket pre-sale access

Keep in mind that to take advantage of Pay with Points, you’ll need to have enough ThankYou points to cover your entire purchase.

Which purchases qualify for Pay with Points?

According to Citi’s website, you can use points to cover the cost of transactions in the following categories:

  • Dining
  • Groceries
  • Gas
  • Clothing and department store purchases
  • Utilities
  • Entertainment
  • Drugstores

Is Pay with Points the best redemption option?

This new feature provides a valuable new redemption option for ThankYou points. Points used to cover a purchase get an estimated 0.8 cent-per-point value. This is on par with the value you get for using ThankYou points to shop on Amazon, but not quite as high as if you redeem your points for travel in the ThankYou portal. If you are dedicated to stretching your points as far as possible, we recommend sticking to a flight redemption.

See Related: Earning and using Citi ThankYou points

Nevertheless, for cardholders eager for a little more flexibility, this new redemption option is one of the most valuable ways you can use your ThankYou points. The ability to cover an everyday purchase with rewards in a pinch is sure to be a big draw for many cardholders.

A great feature – but not a new one

While the new Pay with Points feature is a great addition to ThankYou cards, it is hardly the first of its kind. The Capital One Purchase Eraser also allows cardholders to cover the cost of qualifying purchases with rewards. Similarly the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card lets cardholders redeem points to cover previous travel purchases. Both Capital One and Bank of America’s redemption options get a full 1 cent per point of value – noticeably higher than Citi’s value.

On the plus side, Citi Pay with Points features more categories of eligible purchase, making the perk a bit more flexible than competitors. Additionally, Pay with Points is the only program to allow users to cover pending transactions – rather than just posted ones.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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